Michigan Public Adjuster Examination Under Oath

Michigan Public Adjusters hate to appear and be questioned for an Examination Under Oath. Whether they can be compelled to, should, and the legal consequences for doing so (or not) are of considerable debate.

Many times, I suggest that the insurer cannot legally take an examination under oath, but will suggest that the public adjuster meet with the insurance company’s attorney, answer questions and even give a sworn statement, so that information can be exchanged in a framework that is quicker and will likely get the claim adjusted and paid. This practical alternative seems to avoid the legal questions surrounding an examination under oath and possible declaratory lawsuits regarding the process.

I treat the request for a public adjuster’s examination under oath on a case by case basis. Whether a public adjuster’s testimony is binding on a policyholder is questionable. Accordingly, it is always important to note that the claim is the policyholder’s claim and not that of a person hired to assist in determining the amount owed under the policy. However, the public adjuster is usually an independent contractor who does not make binding contracts, agreements, or is authorized to give legally binding testimony. Most state licensing authorities do not allow public adjusters to do so.